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Featured Artist: Kyle McGuin (Rewind)

"Layers of feelings are buried underneath even the simplest photograph."

I was already following Kyle (he/him) on Instagram when I met him at an art show last winter. It was a delight to meet him in person and I hope you will feel the same about his interview.

Kyle (Rewind)

DECADENT: So, what’s life looking like right now?

REWIND: Currently I have a new project in mind which I will be starting this winter. After a mild creativity halt that occurred during the start of quarantine, it’s nice to finally be able to produce some new ideas and feel productive again.


DECADENT: What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired? And how has that changed because of quarantine?

REWIND: I have learned over the years that creativity is never something that should be forced.

So I never push myself to produce when the ideas aren’t there.

During these times I always try to remind myself that this uninspirational spell is only temporary and focus instead on other passions in the meantime.

DECADENT: What's you favorite thing about the Twin Cities?

REWIND: Even though I was not born and raised in Minnesota, after living in Minneapolis for almost six years now, I am more than happy to call the Twin Cities home. I fell in love with the Cities as soon as I moved here.

The eclectic art and music scene that surrounds us is most definitely my favorite part about this place.

DECADENT: I love the way that you described yourself,

“I'm an expansive human being that's constantly learning and making the most out of life. As an artist, I am taking all of the things I have experienced, learned, or battled with and incorporating it into my art.”

Could I ask why you chose the word “expansive” to describe yourself here? And a more philosophical question: How do you think your experiences interact with one another to help produce the creative work that you do?

REWIND: I think the word "expansive" applies to me personally because of my dedication to learn and grow as an artist.

There is so much vital information in our everyday lives that we can use to better ourselves. Inspiration is truly everywhere.

Moving around a lot while growing up allowed me to meet so many different types of individuals from all over. Hardships, friendships, and relationships are all pieces that go into the creative formula. Even the smallest interactions can have an enormous impact on you but, at the time, you don’t even realize how your mind will process it. Even though it may not be straightforward in my work, a lot of emotion and thought goes into what I do.

Layers of feelings are buried underneath even the simplest photograph.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, empathy is something that consumes my everyday life. Memories are something that I enjoy expressing through concepts. Expression through art is so important for me. Whether it’s being used to reminisce on a congenial time in my life or helping me to cope with a more negative time in my life.

DECADENT: What got you into photography? Has it been a lifelong interest or was there a moment when you discovered what you could do with a camera? How does being a photographer change the way you see the world in everyday life?

REWIND: Growing up, photography was always an interest of mine. But I never fully invested in it until I was 19.

I went to Target one day and bought the latest Nikon Coolpix camera for $130. After that simple digital camera I began to invest more and more from there. After purchasing a used DSLR from my friend. I learned how to properly adjust the settings and fell in love with the beauty of shooting in RAW format.

I think after learning how to properly use a camera, and the importance of each setting, I started to pay much more attention to films and how the cinematographer would choose to light their environment and subjects.


DECADENT: I also like the way that you contrast film and music. Whereas you say that film suits the “visual learner” in you, music seems to inspire you in a less direct way,

“When listening to music it provokes ideas that I later turn into concepts (within reason). Sometimes I do tend to get ahead of myself, but I feel this is a good way to stay motivated and look toward the future, if it's something that isn't quite possible at the moment.”

Would you say that music takes a little longer to inspire something concrete in you? Or does it just influence your work in a different way from film??

REWIND: You interpreted that very well. Yes definitely, music provides the idea/thought but these ideas usually require more effort. Whereas seeing a film and having it spark an idea. . . I can get a better grasp of how I am going to complete that concept.

Music provides the concepts like a music video does, so it requires a lot of thinking on how to actually make it work.

Since I am much more of a visual learner, it can be tough trying to piece together an idea that might've just popped in my head.

DECADENT: You mentioned that 2020 has been a difficult year creatively speaking (and in other ways too, I’m sure). I felt similarly for the first couple months of the pandemic. Do you think there was something about the shock of this global trauma--- the pandemic---which initially made it impossible to translate the experience creatively?

REWIND: So many people have been struggling this year, it pains me to see. It sounds like you were able to break out of this eventually, which makes me really relieved to hear.

One of the toughest parts at the beginning was the limiting of human interaction.

Especially when you enjoy collabing with models/artists, this hold can be pretty detrimental. Towards the start of the pandemic (prior to going into lockdown) I did a few outdoor shoots. As the months went on, a lot more continued to happen in the world. Mentally I began to feel overwhelmed. I personally felt like this wasn’t something that I could visually express. So I took a break and I think that was the best thing to do for me personally.

As time goes on, I know I’ll be able to think about this period of my life and find ways to translate it into art.

Being safe and taking precautions will be the best way to get through this, I hope everyone realizes that so we can bring this pandemic to an end sooner rather than later.

Thank you so much, Kyle!



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